BY EBELE ORAKPO
HA! Lagos and bus stops!” laughed Ade, a commuter in the Boundary, Ajenjunle-bound commuter vehicle as the bus conductor began to reel out names of bus-stops along the route.
Shouted the bus conductor: “Dustbin!”
“Dustbin ke?” querried Peter, perplexed, apparently new on the route.
Said Ade: “Oh, you haven’t heard anything yet. We have Monkey Village Bus-stop, Iyana Cemetery Bus-stop…”
Interrupted Peter: “Monkey Village for this Ebola period? Abeg oo.
“Dat one na small now. In Abeokuta, you hear names like Onigbe, Ago Ika (Point of wickedness); Ago Malu (Cow area),” said Tunde.
“But are there no human beings in the Monkey village? Why on earth would a residential area be named after monkeys?” asked Peter.
Replied Ade: “I think it has more to do with history. It is possible that at a point in time, monkeys lived there in large numbers.”
“Have you noticed that these funny-sounding bus-stops are seen only in poor parts of the cities?” asked Ify.
Replied Tunde: “Exactly! Which rich man would allow his bus-stop to be called Cemetery or Dustbin? You won’t hear such names in highbrow areas like Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki. Look at the Ikoyi Cemetery, why didn’t they name the place Cemetery Bus-stop? They sabi beta thing.”
Narrated Ify: “Trust Naija youths; they will always exploit every opportunity to the fullest. I heard how certain students of some institutions of higher learning around Akoka area where the famous Atan Cemetary is located, were defrauding cab drivers using the bus-stop.
Defrauding cab drivers
“You know many of our students want to live big, beyond their means, especially female students who will charter taxis instead of going by bus which is cheaper. So what these girls do is to charter a taxi individually and usually in the night between 10 and 11 pm. They will agree on a fee and then when they get to Atan Cemetery, they will tell the driver to stop. The frightened driver will put two and two together and run for his dear life, leaving his money behind.”
“If na you nko? The guy go think say e don carry spirit,” said Ade.
“Sure. But one day, one of them met her match. Cunny man die, cunny man bury am. “This girl hailed a taxi as usual, agreed on a price and the journey started. This was around 10.00 pm.
“As they got close to the cemetery, the girl shouted ‘O wa o.’ The driver asked where and she replied Atan Cemetery gate. The driver got to the gate of the cemetery and stopped. He then asked for his money as the girl made to disembark instead of fleeing like the others before him.
“The girl was waiting for him to leave so that she could flag down a bus and go to her school, unfortunately, the driver was not ready to budge. Instead, he began to taunt her: ‘Shebi you be ghost, enter the burial ground now, what are you waiting for?’
“Meanwhile, the poor girl was terrified because she was afraid of walking into the cemetery at that unholy hour. Perhaps, if it were in the afternoon, she would have braved it but not by 10 in the night.
“She knew her game was up but unfortunately, she did not have the agreed fare to pay the driver.”
“Big girl, refusing to cut her coat according to her cloth,” said Ade.
By the time Ify ended her narration, everyone was laughing so hard that passersby were wondering what was going on.